$30b trust fund will pay for managing the cultural district A statutory body and independent trust fund will be set up to operate the arts and cultural facilities at West Kowloon. The winning developer would need to pay at least $30 billion to set up the trust fund, Chief Secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan told legislators yesterday. He also promised that land revenue from the West Kowloon waterfront site would go to the trust fund. Under the government's new plan for the cultural district, the fund will also pay for the maintenance of the canopy, the train linking various parts of West Kowloon, the open space and the operating costs of the statutory body. The winning bidder would have to hand over the money for the trust fund as soon as the contract was signed with the government, Mr Hui said. Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen will appoint the statutory body's governing board. It will be made up of representatives of the arts community, tourism industry, developers and the management sector, and the financial services, town planning, architectural, surveying and engineering fields. Mr Hui said the public would be consulted on the statutory body. He also promised the new body would be 'independent from government and vested interests, it will be open, transparent and accountable'. He hoped a draft bill to set up the body could be tabled in the Legislative Council by the middle of next year and passed by the end of the year so that the organisation could be formed in early 2007. While legislator Lau Kong-wah, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, doubted whether the $30 billion trust fund could sufficiently finance the cultural hub, Mr Hui said the sum was the minimum amount for the fund. The chief secretary said he was confident the trust fund would be sufficient to support the West Kowloon Cultural District and no government subsidy would be needed. 'It is a trust fund; it will invest, have profit and interest. Its recurrent revenue should be enough to support the recurrent expenditure of the arts hub,' Mr Hui said. He said the amount required was based on the Leisure and Culture Services Department's experience in managing cultural facilities.